Arsenal are interested in making a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah, according to Bild.
The German publication are also claiming the centre-half has a €40m (roughly £33.2m) release clause in the summer, which would make him a cheaper option than Dayot Upamecano, who has a £53m clause (L’Equipe via The Sun). Mikel Arteta already strengthened the heart of his defence in January as he completed the loan signing of Flamengo’s Pablo Mari (via BBC).
A move for the Germany international would be an incredibly underwhelming addition, especially because he proves to be no better than the team’s current centre-halves. In comparison to the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz, Tah averages fewer clearances (3.2), more fouls (1.3) and has been dribbled past a similar number of times (0.4) per league game, as per WhoScored.
Passing proves to be a key aspect of Mikel Arteta’s style of play at the club and in Mustafi and Luiz, he has two players who possess a good passing range. The duo average more long passes per league game than the Leverkusen ace.
It proved pivotal in the recent Premier League game against Newcastle United, where the side was forced to switch play to the flanks due to congestion in the centre. Luiz and Mustafi played eight and seven long balls, respectively, in a 4-0 win, showing how effective they were in moving the ball.
Overall, Tah wouldn’t necessarily be an upgrade on the side’s current options. And with Jamie Carragher (Sky Sports via The Mirror) having voiced his concerns over the current players, it may be unwise to bring in a player who is worse statistically.
With Mari in the fold and Rob Holding getting up to full fitness – as well as the eventual return of Calum Chambers – perhaps Arteta would be wise to focus on other individuals.
Arsenal fans, do you think Tah would be a good signing? Let us know your thoughts below!
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